What’s the real story?
air purifiers: Are air purifiers worth it? A real challenge for future generations, air pollution already has an impact on our environment and our lives. Combining deaths from outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution, air pollution accounts for 1 in 9 deaths worldwide.
And since understanding its consequences is already a step towards the reduction of air pollution, here is all you need to know about this type of pollution.
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Every eighth death from polluted air Cancer, heart disease, lung disease: The consequences of global air pollution are fatal than previously thought. According to WHO, it is responsible for the death of seven million people every year.
About seven million people die each year, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) analysis of global air pollution.
This is more than twice as many as previously thought, the WHO reported in Geneva on the data from 2012. Every eighth death worldwide is, therefore, due to polluted air, which is the largest health risk based on environmental factors.
“The risks from air pollution are much greater than initially thought,” said WHO Director Maria Neira.There are new findings on how strongly cardiovascular and cancers are due to polluted air, the organization said. These have flowed into the new analysis. Previously, respiratory diseases had been taken into account for the estimation.
Health risks due to smog and particulate matter pollution
High levels of smog also increase the risk of particulate matter, as smog and particulate matter are associated. Particles 5-10 microns in size can pass through the nasopharynx into the bronchi.
Smaller particles with a diameter of 3 microns already reach the bronchioles and alveoli. Ultrafine dust particles even penetrate into the lung tissue. There they are very difficult or impossible to remove.
Inhalation of harmful gases in combination with particulate matter can cause health consequences such as cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases. There are also indications that ultrafine dust can reach the brain via the olfactory nerve. Especially in children and the elderly who are exposed to high concentrations of polluted air, both the intelligence and memory performance can be impaired.
Disease symptoms in smog
Protection against fine dust
A particularly at-risk group represents, regardless of age, persons who already have a respiratory illness. These include, for example, bronchitis and asthma or allergies, such as hay fever. Under the influence of air pollutants, it is possible that these symptoms and diseases worsen. The risk group also includes people with cardiovascular problems.
Air Purifiers: How to limit air pollution at home?
How to make the atmosphere of our houses more breathable? A researcher delivers four simple and unstoppable tips. Explanations.
the specialized journal Indoor Air has set out four main principles, ranked in order of priority, for good indoor air quality. It is, therefore, a question of reducing the emissions inside the place of life:
- to keep it dry;
- Ventilate well;
- Protect it from external pollution.
The application of these principles, however, can not be the sole responsibility of the inhabitant. Because the placing on the market of products, the enactment of constructive rules, the reduction of external pollution or the obligation of information of the consumers belong to the public action.
That being said, we usually stay home with the air … we pollute and breathe. Fortunately, good gestures are not counter-intuitive and common sense finds its value. Let’s see how, in practice, these four principles are ranked in order of priority.
1. Reduce indoor emissions
Source control is preferred to avoid excessive concentrations, the ultimate and deadly example being the carbon monoxide emitted by defective water heaters or makeshift heaters responsible for a hundred deaths per year. Moreover, any combustion not or poorly controlled is to be avoided: cigarette of course, but also other emitters of air contaminants such as candles and incense.
For smells, better avoid them than hide them! Moreover, a little cleaning (by limiting scented products, with a mop and/or vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency filter) will not hurt. Indeed, so-called semi-volatile compounds (plasticizers, flame retardants, pesticides …) find refuge in the dust and then volatilize. Once the cleaning is complete you can store your products in an unoccupied room or, be failing that, a ventilated room.
Vigilance also applies to pesticides applied to plants and animals. Because we end up inhaling them, ingesting them through the contact of the hands with the surfaces and dust, then hands with the mouth. Children are particularly concerned here. With respect to biological contaminants, work published in the magazine Pollution Atmosphere gives practical advice to animal friends and the enemies of dust mites and molds.
2. Monitor the humidity
Today, there is a strong body of epidemiological knowledge linking home humidity and the risk of respiratory or allergic disorders such as asthma, respiratory infections, coughs, allergic rhinitis … If causal agents (molds, fungi …) are not all identified, it is interesting to note that the disorders are associated with the visible signs of moisture and mold, which makes it easy to trigger actions.
These are based on the limitation and aspiration of water vapor emissions and ventilation. It is also necessary to mention factors related to the building itself, thus escaping more or less from the occupant. For example, the housing envelope must protect from external moisture (so ensure that materials are not stored outside during the construction site) and also avoid condensation; this last advice applies to air conditioners that must avoid condensation of outside air.
3. Ventilate well
Ventilation, if it is sufficient and effective, can limit the accumulation of unavoidable emissions related to the occupants themselves. However, it can not be a means of offsetting excessive emissions mentioned above. Make sure that it works by following these simple steps.
4. Avoid external pollution
This last principle is the one whose application we probably miss most as the occupant since the quality of the outdoor air depends on collective actions and technical innovations on filtration devices (or insulation of subsurface fumes in granitic radon-emitting regions). Of course, we can contribute to this by means of less emissive modes of transport and by not planting species that emit allergenic pollen. To ventilate one’s housing, one will, therefore, prefer to avoid the peak traffic hours in the city and the day during the pollination period.
This buzz on the air quality of his home will he encouraged you to put yours? Let’s hope that it also contributes to putting the issue of indoor air quality on the political agenda for the implementation of proactive public actions and the development of research.
The common sense mentioned here is, in fact, compatible with progress and innovations for materials and furniture less emissive, methods and new knowledge to quantify risks, efficient solutions of coupling or decoupling ventilation/air conditioning or heating, sensors alerting occupants or to optimize the operation of the house …
Read also: Discover the top 10 air purifier brands.
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